HOT TYPE by Marjorie Lipsyte
Kirkus Star


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The progress of unsinkable Arlyn Crane, an aspiring N.Y. newspaper employee securely locked into the wonderful woman's world of secretary-hood--in a nostalgic (!) fictional return to the pre-Lib 1960s, when girdles were still in and serious careers for most women were out. Arlyn loves the Paper (the Times, of course) and the city room--the deep-down rumble of the presses, the daily build-up to deadline, the gossip. And she also loves gorgeous Southern correspondent Bill Hallem; in no time, they're lovers (Bill apologizes for explaining that his wife doesn't understand him), but dear Bill gently pooh-poohs Arlyn's ambitions to write for the Paper; ""Women were made to bear and care for children, not chase dirty facts in smoke-filled rooms. . . to become a sex-starved old hag."" Well, he has her there: to be a ""dried-up, old, manless ball-breaker--that was too painful to think about."" But the lust in Arlyn's heart to make it wins out over the prospect of dehydration, and she begs for tidbit work (like sermon reports), finally getting a by-line with a feature on a lady bassoonist (who will end her Carnegie recital with a head-stand, undies-showing salute to the National Anthem). And both an aching sympathy and a reporter's skill will move Arlyn to uncover the murderer of a sad call girl--thereby winning her the gratitude of the Paper, since one of the Founding Family's ne'er-do-wells was one of the girl's johns. And the promotion reward? To work on the Children's Fashion Parade. Big deal. So finally Bill gets the shove, and as for getting back to the City Room, ""maybe, if I work hard. . ."" The newsroom ambiance with its snipes and camaraderie is fine; and the tone throughout is so bright and brisk that Lipsyte does more than Steinem can to justify Lib's ways to Man. Good fun.

Pub Date: June 6th, 1980
Publisher: Doubleday